June 13, 2024

Mary Frances Gertrude Messier

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Mary Frances Gertrude Messier, 101, of Rehoboth passed peacefully in her sleep on February 10, 2024 at Foremost of Sharon Rehabilitation Hospital. She was the devoted wife of the late Alfred P. Messier and loving mother to Louise Ferullo and the late Alan P. Messier.

Born in Thetford Mines, Canada, she was the daughter of the late Napoleon and Josephine Lemieux.  She is preceded in death by her brothers Paul, Sam, and Maurice and sisters Annette and Yvonne.   Together, they immigrated from Canada settling in Central Falls, RI.  She became a lifelong resident of Rehoboth after marrying.

The legacy that Gert leaves behind is immense.  She cast an indelible mark across Rehoboth that can never be erased.  She built her professional life around food, first working at North Rehoboth School.  After she retired in 1981, she began volunteering at the Rehoboth Council on Aging.  In her 42 years there, she organized the first Meals on Wheels Chapter for Rehoboth and developed deep friendships that became her chosen family.  Gert was selected to be the Meal Site Manager of the COA and so began Gert’s Café, a weekly luncheon that she would prepare, serve and provide entertainment for.  She followed the COA as it moved through three locations.  On September 12, 2022, Gert was presented the Boston Post Cane recognizing her as the oldest resident of Rehoboth.   The ceremony was just one of many that she received throughout her storied life, recognizing her many achievements both personal and professional.  

Gert lived her life through the color purple.  Her boots, her cowboy hats, her costumes and even her hair had that unmistakable purple highlight.  But, beyond the purple, beyond the devilish grin and far from her honkytonk piano playing she was a woman who burned brighter than any color in the rainbow.  She was a beacon for the community in which she served selflessly.  Her internal motto was “give until it hurts”.   Outwardly she ended every encounter with, “I love you this much” with her arms outstretched as far as they could go.  

She is survived by her daughter Louise Ferullo of Nashville, Daughter-in-Law Tanya Messier, her grandchildren, Scott Markley (John) of Nashville, TN, Holly Martineau of Rehoboth, Eric Messier (Carrie) of Durhamville, NY, Christopher Markley (Christie) of East Providence, RI, six great grandchildren and many other extended family.  Gert was the aunt of her nephew and best friend, Richard Lemieux of Rehoboth.  He was her greatest support system through the triumphs and tragedies that marked her incredible journey.  The entire family would like to thank him for helping her live her very best life with dignity and joy.

The family would also like to thank Foremost at Sharon and Old Colony Hospice for their exemplary care during her brief time in residence.

Private arrangements are entrusted to the Foley-Cook-Hathaway Funeral Home, Attleboro.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: The Rehoboth Senior Center c/o Gert’s Café  27 Francis Farm Road Rehoboth, MA  02769

www.hathawayfunerals.com

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